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Oatmeal Pumpkin Bars with Cinnamon Drizzle

Oatmeal Pumpkin Bars with Cinnamon Drizzle

Pumpkin is a fantastic ingredient to bake with. Like bananas – another popular baking ingredient that is usually used as a puree – pumpkin is versatile. Not only does it make an excellent pie filling, but its high moisture content and mild sweetness translate well to all kinds of baked goods, from breads to cakes. These Oatmeal Pumpkin Bars with Cinnamon Drizzle might not be the most intensely pumpkin treat that you’ll eat in the fall, you’ll still find plenty of pumpkin flavor in these, as well as a new way to bring pumpkin into your baking in a way that doesn’t involve another pie recipe.

These easy-to-make bars come together so quickly that you only need a few minutes to put them together. This means that you could whip them up as an after school snack on a busy weekday without putting your normal routine on hold. Once they’re baked, they’re satisfying enough that you could also grab one and eat it for breakfast on-the-go, in addition to simply being a tasty snack. The bars are chewy, with a nuttiness from the oats and a nice sweetness from the brown sugar and pumpkin. The toasted pecans add a nice crunch and give the bars a great texture. If you want to make the bars even chewier, you could skip the pecans and stir in the same amount of raisins or dried cranberries in their place. The cinnamon drizzle adds a spicy sweetness to each bite, in addition to giving the bars a pretty finished look.

The bars taste even better the day after they are baked, when the flavors of the bars have been allowed to meld together. Be sure to allow the icing to dry before storing them. They will stay moist and chewy for several days when stored in an airtight container, so if you plan your baking right, you just might be able to enjoy one batch all week long.

Oatmeal Pumpkin Bars with Cinnamon Drizzle
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or pumpkin spice extract
1 1/2 cups quick cooking oatmeal
1/2 cup coarsely chopped, toasted pecans
Cinnamon Drizzle (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, stir together butter, sugars, egg, pumpkin and vanilla extract. Stir in flour mixture, followed by the oatmeal. Fold in pecans until evenly distributed.
Pour batter into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
Bake for 35-38 minutes, or until the bars spring back when lightly pressed and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan.
When cooled, lift the foil out of the pan and cut into 18 rectangular bars. Drizzle glaze over the top of the bars and allow glaze to set for 2 hours before storing in an airtight container.

Cinnamon Drizzle
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. If necessary, add a few drops of milk to thin out the drizzle, but the mixture should be thick. Set aside until ready to use.

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